After a break so long that even the Starks have quit telling us to wait for it, Game of Thrones has returned. At long last, we can return to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Whether you’re new to the GoT fandom or you’re a long-suffering devotee of the novels, chances are you’ve already picked out a favorite character or two. We actually recommend a safe baker’s dozen, what with the amount of death stalking just about every corner of George R. R. Martin’s world.
If you fancy a trip to Westeros yourself, and don’t want to look like a total outsider once you make port, then have we got good news for you, Sir and/or Madam. Geek & Sundry’s intrepid team of travel guides has just disembarked their swan ship from Lannisport. With them, they bring news of the current boozing trends in each of the Seven Kingdoms. Here, in order from north to south, is their report:
In The North, stout is king. As robust as the Starks of Winterfell and as black as the garb of the Nights Watch, this well-bodied ale warms your innards without unduly dulling your wits. Winter is coming, after all, and if you’re going to lands that may or may not be threatened by white walkers, you’re gonna need a good balance of liquid bravery and quick reflexes. Pairs well with: flayed man, er, venison.
If anyone in Westeros is going to invent something as pretentious as a martini, chances are it’s gonna be Petyr Baelish. Since he’s been getting into dropping sour things from, uh… places, we think a lemon drop martini is just his speed this season. Pairs well with: shellfish(ness).
The Iron Islands:
Not much drink is produced in The Iron Islands, but after a hard day of paying the iron price, every ironborn longs for a draft of ale. Ales tend to vary by town and by week, as casks are usually “procured” on the mainland. Pairs well with: sausage.
The Tullys of Riverrun are looking paler and paler these days, and so is their local ale. Pale ales have only recently come into popularity, mirroring the bitter sentiment of a populace caught in the middle of a conflict not their own. Pairs well with: locally-grown blackfish—a must-find!
Despite the amount of red wine they consume at King’s Landing, the Lannisters actually prefer white w(h)ine when home at Casterly Rock. Otherwhise, it wouldn’t color coordinate with their coins, armor, clothing, weapons and hair. That would just be the worst. Pairs well with: Whitefish caviar and crostini.
In Kings’ Landing, as well as the surrounding Crownlands, red wine (and lots of it) has been a clear favorite since the reign of Robert Baratheon. The Lannisters in particular have been downing the good stuff like there’s no tomorrow. Pairs well with: wild boar, pigeon pie and untimely death.
The residents of The Reach are master vintners, capable of all manner of wine. If you want to drink like a local, however, try the Rose. Sweet, but deceptively complex, the rose petal infused rosé could someday become the drink of choice for meddling matrons the world over. Pairs well with: a light garden salad.
While the Sapphire Sea might not actually play home to glittering blue gems, the forests of The Stormlands are home to numerous stands of juniper which impart their flavor to the region’s local sapphire gin. Pairs well with: cocktail onions and other finger foods.
In the harsh, dry climate of Dorne, you’ll need a beverage that travels well and drinks just as easily warm as it does cold. Be thankful that the Dornishmen brought their traditional spiced Mead along with them when they relocated from Rhoyne. Pairs well with: blood oranges and dates.
BONUS—Beyond the Wall:
In the frigid, deadly lands beyond the wall it’s best to keep yourself nice and oblivious to the creeping death that exists behind every frozen tree. We’ve heard rumors that a handful of local Scotch distilleries exists in the Frostfangs, but you’ll have a heck of a time reaching them. Pairs well with: mammoth steak, human flesh, pretty much whatever you can get your cold undead hands on.
Let us know how you plan to ring in the new season of Game of Thrones in the comments. We wish the best for everyone’s favorite characters, but remember as always: valar morghulis.